Mr. Kelly Johnson, presents the Class of 2008. Class is accepted by Mr. Larry Vanden Bos (Vice President, Board of Education of PVPHS).
Once again, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School has been ranked in Newsweek as one of the finest public high schools in the nation. Garnering the 172nd spot out of 29, 000 public high schools in the U.S., PEN HIGH ranked #5 in California of comprehensive high schools (not charter or magnet schools). Nationwide, 75% of the schools listed above PVPHS have admission requirements and are not comprehensive high schools. We are proud of the fact we accept all students living in our community which give us tremendous diversity, both academically and culturally. I believe this fact makes our ranking even more significant.
Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors. All of the schools on the list (1425) have an index of at least 1.000, meaning they gave at least as many tests in 2007 as they had graduates. These schools are in the top 5% of public schools measured this way. 65% of PVPHS’ graduating seniors have at least one passing grade on one AP test.
What is especially significant about Peninsula, is the requirement all students in an AP class take the exam. PVPHS has open access to its AP courses, and does not pad its results by only allowing the brightest to take the exams. All students have the right to stretch and grow. By experiencing the rigors of reading and writing inherent in the AP course curriculum, our students are better prepared to succeed in college.
Studies by U.S. Department of Education senior researcher Clifford Adelman in 1999 and 2005 showed the best predictors of college graduation were not good high-school grades or test scores, but whether or not a student had an intense academic experience in high school. Such experiences were produced by taking higher-level math and English courses and struggling with the demands of college-level courses like AP or IB. Two other studies looked at more than 150,000 students in California and Texas and found if they had passing scores on AP exams they were more likely to do well academically in college.
Peninsula High salutes all of its students, parents and staff. We congratulate our sister school, Palos Verdes High School, for their presence on the list, coming in at # 324.